Aging is inevitable. From the day we are born to the day we leave this earth, we are gradually aging. So why do we dread it so much and why do we deny the inevitable?
With millions of baby boomers retiring or contemplating retirement, the whole concept of aging is taking on new meaning.
Life expectancy 100 years ago was 46 years. Today it is over 80 years. Fifty years ago life expectancy after retirement was 2-3 years. Today it is 20-30 years. How is this affecting the faces of aging?
1.Decline – Until recent times, a commonly held belief was that after 60years you were over the hill, slowing down, becoming senile, seeing out your last few years in a rocking chair, deteriorating physically & mentally.
2.Denial – In today’s age, baby boomers and even those younger, are becoming obsessed with avoiding the reality of aging, especially physical aging. The media and also the beauty industry is constantly promoting the image of looking forever young.
This constant fear and denial of aging can lead to depression and actually hasten the aging process.
3. Development – An important key to positive aging and active longevity, is to be realistic with one’s own aging, rather than being resigned to the stereotype of being ‘old’ or being in denial of the changes that come with aging.
Studies are showing that we can discover our full human potential in the new years of life beyond our youth. Mental functioning can improve rather than decline with age by using your mind to develop new knowledge, concepts and skills.
What face of aging do you want to wear? Our mind-set, what we believe as true, will influence whether we choose decline, denial or discovery & development.